England begins its pursuit of its first Test series win in India since 1984-85 when the two nations meet in a four-match series, which starts on 15 November in Ahmedabad.

But Alastair Cook’s side is not just aiming to end the 27-year wait for success in India, it is also targeting the number-one ranking in the Reliance ICC Test Championship table, just a few months after losing the top spot to South Africa.

However, England’s return to the top will be dependent on some help from rival Australia, who is taking on South Africa in a series that began on Friday in Brisbane.

If Australia wins against South Africa by a margin of 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, then it would become the number-one ranked team.  But England could displace Australia from the top if it were then to beat India by a margin of 3-0 or 4-0.

Similarly, if the Australia-South Africa series is drawn level at 0-0 or 1-1, it would see Graeme Smith’s side retaining the number-one spot. If this were to happen, England could displace South Africa if it were then to beat India by a margin of 3-0 or 4-0.

Predictor – how England could become number one on the Reliance ICC Test Championship table:
Australia wins 1-0, England wins 3-0
1 England  120
2 Australia 119

Australia wins 1-0, England wins 4-0
1 England   121
2 Australia  119

Australia wins 2-0, England wins 4-0
1 England 121
2 Australia 121 (behind by a fraction of a ratings point)

Australia wins 2-1, England wins 3-0
1 England 120
2 Australia 119

Australia wins 2-1, England wins 4-0
1 England 121
2 Australia 119

Australia-South Africa draw level 0-0, England wins 3-0
1 England 120
2 South Africa 120 (behind by a fraction of a ratings point)
Australia-South Africa draw level 0-0, England wins 4-0
1 England 121
2 South Africa 120
Australia-South Africa draw level 1-1, England wins 3-0
1 England 120
2 South Africa 120 (behind by a fraction of a ratings point)
Australia-South Africa draw level 1-1, England wins 4-0
1 England 121
2 South Africa 120

But if South Africa were to win the series against Australia by a margin or 1-0 or better, England could, at best, hope to take second place if it were to beat India.
For another former number-one ranked side, India, the best position it can achieve is a jump of two places to third if it wins the series against England by 2-0 or better.

Also eyeing improvements in the Championship Table are West Indies and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh plays West Indies in a two-match series with the first Test scheduled to start in Dhaka from 13 November. Also scheduled is Sri Lanka’s two-match series against New Zealand from 17 November.

The three series offer the players ample opportunities to eye upward movements in the Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings.

Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara tops the batting table and is among a number of batsmen in the top 20 likely to be seen in action during the three upcoming series, along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (third), Kevin Pietersen (10th), Alastair Cook (11th), Ross Taylor (12th), Thilan Samaraweera (13th), Jonathan Trott (15th), Sachin Tendulkar (16th), Mike Hussey (17th), Ian Bell (18th) and Mahela Jayawardena (19th).

The bowlers’ table is headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn with teammate Vernon Philander at second position and Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal in the third position.

Other bowlers among the top 20 who are expected to play in the three series are Rangana Herath (fourth), James Anderson (fifth), Stuart Broad (eighth), Graeme Swann (12th), Shakib Al Hasan (13th), Pragyan Ojha (14th), Zaheer Khan (15th), Steven Finn (16th), Chris Martin (17th) and Ravichandran Ashwin (18th).

Upcoming Fixtures
Bangladesh v West Indies series
13-17 Nov-1st Test, Dhaka
21-25 Nov-2nd Test, Khulna

India v England series
15-19 Nov-1st Test, Ahmedabad
23-27 Nov-2nd Test, Mumbai
5-9 Dec-3rd Test, Kolkata
13-17 Dec-4th Test, Nagpur

Sri Lanka v New Zealand series
17-21 Nov-1st Test, Galle
25-29 Nov-2nd Test, Colombo (SSC)

 
 
 
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